Alzheimer's Disease, Diabetes: Is There a Link?

Posted on April 11, 2016

Photo: flickr

Several epidemiological studies support the hypothesis that diabetes increases a person's risk for developing Alzheimer's disease. However, new research from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai published in the journal Alzheimer's and Dementia suggests the reverse -- that Alzheimer's disease (AD) impairs insulin signaling in the portion of the brain responsible for regulating metabolism, making a person with AD more likely to develop diabetes.

Findings also indicate that an increase of a particular group of amino acids in the blood could serve as a biomarker of impaired brain insulin signaling.

"This is the first study to suggest that Alzheimer's disease pathology increases susceptibility to diabetes due to impaired insulin signaling in the hypothalamus," said Christoph Buettner, MD, PhD, Associate Professor of Medicine, Endocrinology, Diabetes, Bone Disease and Neuroscience, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, and lead author of the study. "Our research provides a rationale that therapies developed to improve insulin signaling in the brain may reduce the likelihood that a patient with Alzheimer's disease develops diabetes."


Category(s):Cognitive Problems Amnesia / Dementia, Dementia, Health / Illness / Medical Issues

Source material from Mount Sinai Health System


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